Four studies examined the hypothesis that positive mood induces a global processing style and gives rise to the use of more abstract linguistic expressions in the description of social events. In contrast, negative mood induces a detail-oriented analytic processing style, resulting in more concrete descriptions. This hypothesis received support in the case of describing autobiographical events (Studies 1 and 2) and a film scene (Studies 3 and 4), whereby mood was induced either by film clips, or a self-induced mood technique (Study 3). Moreover, Study 4 showed that these systematic differences in linguistic expression disappear when the source of mood is made salient to participants, in line with the affect-as-information (Schwarz & Clore, 1983) and mood-and-general-knowledge approach (Bless, 2000). Implications for interpersonal communication are discussed. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.